Agriculture: Pistachio Pest Management Guidelines

False Chinch Bug

  • Nysius raphanus
  • Description of the Pest

    The adult false chinch bug is a small bug, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) long. It is gray to light brown in color and looks somewhat like a small lygus bug. The nymph is gray with a reddish brown abdomen.

    False chinch bugs can occur in high numbers on weeds within or adjacent to pistachio orchards. The eggs are laid randomly on the soil or within soil cracks near weeds. The false chinch bug spends the winter primarily in the immature stage (nymph) on weeds. As weeds dry in spring or are destroyed, chinch bugs migrate to pistachio trees where they feed. Nymphs predominate during migration but adults may also be present. Important weeds that serve as hosts include wild mustard, wild radish, shepherd's-purse, and London rocket. The most serious infestations result from spring migrations; however, fall migrations can also occur. Movement occurs in early morning or evening.


    False chinch bugs can be a serious problem on newly planted pistachio trees, especially when cardboard or other trunk guards are used, which shelter the bugs during the day. In spring, they can build to very high densities. Their feeding can cause young trees to wilt and die. Feeding on older trees can cause leaves to drop.


    Mowing ground cover before bloom can reduce false chinch bug (and small plant bug) populations. On newly planted trees, if bugs are so numerous that wilting is evident, a treatment is warranted. Treat either in the evening or early morning when chinch bugs are active. Treatments are more effective when trunk wraps are removed.

    Common name Amount per acre** REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Always read the label of the product being used.
    (97Up) 8–16 oz 24 365
    COMMENTS: Where there is potential for runoff into waterways use caution in application to avoid off-site movement.
    (Brigade WSB*) 8–32 oz 12 7
    COMMENTS: Do not apply near aquatic areas. Brigade WSB is a restricted-use pesticide because it is highly toxic to fish and aquatic organisms.
    (Danitol 2.4 EC*) 10.66–21.33 fl oz 24 3
    COMMENTS: Do not apply near aquatic areas. Danitol 2.4EC is a restricted-use pesticide because it is highly toxic to fish and aquatic organisms.
    (Warrior II with Zeon Technology*) 1.28–2.56 fl oz 24 14
    COMMENTS: Do not apply near aquatic areas. Warrior II is a restricted-use pesticide because it is highly toxic to fish and aquatic organisms.
    (Pounce 25WP*) 8–16 oz 12 0
    (Ambush 25W*) 12.8–25.6 oz 12 0
    COMMENTS: Highly toxic to honey bees. Do not apply near aquatic areas; Pounce 25WP and Ambush 25W are restricted-use pesticides because they are highly toxic to fish and aquatic organisms.
    ** Unless otherwise noted, apply with enough water to ensure adequate coverage.
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
    * Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
    1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at
    Text Updated: 10/14
    Treatment Table Updated: 10/14